“If you thought the days of the great conductors were all in the past, then think again. Günther Herbig's presentation of the "Pathetique" symphony of Tchaikovsky last night was one of nobility, emotion and power, the sort I remember from Barbirolli and Yansons.
~Manchester Evening News, Robert Beale
Herbig's performance frequently recalled those of his great mentor, Herbert von Karajan. There was a similar sense of high gloss and unerring control combined with biting urgency... Herbig built the architecture relentlessly to the tremendous resolution of the coda."
~The Baltimore Sun, Stephen Wigler
Günther Herbig divides his activities between Europe and North America. His conducting career has been equally distinguished on both continents. He has also visited Asia almost 20 times working with several Tokyo orchestras and those in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
In 1984 he moved from East Germany to the United States and served for ten years as Music Director first of the Detroit and later of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Herbig's musical training took place in Central Europe where he studied with Herman Abendroth, Herbert von Karajan and Hermann Scherchen. He began his career with appointments in the East German cities of Weimar and Potsdam. In 1972 he was named General Music Director of the Dresden Philharmonic and held the same post with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra from 1977 to 1983.
Turning to Western Europe Herbig became Principle Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in 1979. Soon he was invited to conduct such major ensembles as the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic London, the Philharmonia in London, the Orchestre de Paris, the Israel Philharmonie, and many others in major cities.
In the USA he started in 1979 as Principle Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony and has since conducted the Orchestras of New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Baltimore, and many others.
He toured the US several times with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and in 1989 conducted the orchestra on a European tour. In 1991 he led the Toronto Symphony to Europe after having toured with them extensively in the USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.
Herbig made nearly 40 recordings with the leading East German orchestras, including cycles of Haydn and Brahms symphonies before leaving East Germany in 1984. His most recent releases include Beethoven Symphony 3 and 5, Schubert 8, Brahms 1, Mahler 5 and Strauss Ein Heldenleben with the BBC Philharmonic, and some other recordings with London Orchestras. From 2001 to 2006 he was the Chief Conductor of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra with which he also recorded some major symphonies by Mahler and Shostakovich.
In January 2008 Mr Herbig became the Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of Philharmonia Taiwan, the National Symphony Orchestra for the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons.